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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I've been trying to balance my aquarium and reduce algae but it's been 5 months and I'm still getting lots of diatom algae and another type I can't identify.

My tank measurements are: 20 inches wide, 10 high and 10 deep.
My lighting is one single T8 bulb that sits on top of the tank, I figured this would place it under low lighting.
The substrate is JBL Manado which is inert porous clay.
I have a small submersible filter that I tilt to the side so it produces a current around the tank.
I have 3 bumblebee gobies and recently added some ramshorn snails.

I'm currently dosing with JBL Proscape Microelements and JBL NPK.
For low light the recomended dose is 1ml for every 100L so I'm dosing 0,3ml of each.
I dose once a week after a 60% water change. Lights are on for 8h/day. I have low light plants.

I'm having trouble with diatom algae and another type of brown algae I can't identify, I'm having more algae now than I used to have when I was dosing with micronutrients only.

What else could I do to get the algae under control? Thank you in advance I'd appreciate any advice you could offer.
 

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Hi, I've been trying to balance my aquarium and reduce algae but it's been 5 months and I'm still getting lots of diatom algae and another type I can't identify.

My tank measurements are: 20 inches wide, 10 high and 10 deep.
My lighting is one single T8 bulb that sits on top of the tank, I figured this would place it under low lighting.
The substrate is JBL Manado which is inert porous clay.
I have a small submersible filter that I tilt to the side so it produces a current around the tank.
I have 3 bumblebee gobies and recently added some ramshorn snails.

I'm currently dosing with JBL Proscape Microelements and JBL NPK.
For low light the recomended dose is 1ml for every 100L so I'm dosing 0,3ml of each.
I dose once a week after a 60% water change. Lights are on for 8h/day. I have low light plants.

I'm having trouble with diatom algae and another type of brown algae I can't identify, I'm having more algae now than I used to have when I was dosing with micronutrients only.

What else could I do to get the algae under control? Thank you in advance I'd appreciate any advice you could offer.
Have you considered scaling back more on the ferts or stoping all together? What plants do you have? Another thing to consider maybe is, how old is that t8 bulb? Just a thought.

Edit: post a picture of what you are dealing with as it will help a lot
 

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do you have any pictures of the other type of algae?? With diatom I heard it can last up to a year before it starts to get under control or go away...60% seems like a big water change..and its a what 15g tank?? the filter might be to small where its just recycling itself when you put the new water in..I use to have the same problem when i would do a 50% water change and clean my filters at the same time because there wasnt another good bacteria and it would just start a mini cycle all over again
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for replying so fast.

Yes I'll probably reduce the ferts to 0.2ml but I'd like to keep fertilizing as the plants are green and healthy at the new leaves where they're free of algae. I first set up the tank last summer; I started without any ferts and the amount of algae was crazy, then I started adding micronutrients and the algae reduced a lot but the leaves looked pale and unhealthy, 4 months ago I started dosing with macros aswell and I'm getting a little more algae than before but plants look healthier.

Sorry I forgot to say the plants I have: hygro polysperma, crypts, jungle vals, ludwigia repens and anacharis (to soak up nutrients).
The bulb is currentlly 5 months old and I have to get a new one this month, oh and the fixture has no reflector so maybe I don't have enough light?

I'll try to get some pictures later of the algae, it is rough and hard to get off the leaves but it doesn't look like BBA.

The tank is 33L like 7-8 gallons, I thought I had to make a 50% water change weekly to remove the remaining ferts and start over¿ but you're right 60% is too much. I've tested for ammonia and nitrite to see if the water change produced any spike but it doesn't, also I clean the bio media like every 4 months or so, I just change the filter floss as that's what catches most of the detritus
 

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Never ever clean bio-media. The floss is to keep dirt out of the bio-media. Clean the floss, but not the bio-media.
If the tank is 10" tall and you have at least some substrate then the bulb could be 8"
from the bottom of the tank. Try reducing how long it's on for a month.
You only need to do larger water changes if you are doing like three doses of each of
those ferts per week. Check to make sure the Micro contains Iron. Iron does not last
a week in a tank. I do two doses of each of the Macro and Micro starting on the day of the water change. The Macro on WC day and the Micro the next day. Then skip a day and then the Macro again and then the Micro on the next day. This leaves only two
day as the longest that the tank goes without Iron being dosed.
I do the two doses of each instead of the three doses as used for E.I. fert dosing
and I also use a reduced amount compared to what is called for in my tank size
because E.I. is designed for injected CO2 tanks and mine are not.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you, I clean the bio media by shaking it lightly in tank water and I do it because it traps dirt, I first have filter floss and then a coarse sponge ( that's also my biological media) but it still catches some dirt. I won't clean it anymore though.

I wasn't clear, I measured the height from the top to where the substrate starts and it's 10-9 inches as I have slopes.
I probably did this wrong but I cleaned the plants and tank when I purchased the macros (the tank was still running though), I replanted and started with 4h a day and then increased 1h every week till I reached 8h. As photoperiod increased so did the algae. I thought 8h was the minimum for plants to grow well.

Allright so I'll reduce the water changes to 20%, reduce the hours of lighting, and reduce the fert dosage + try the method you described & see how thing go from there. I kind of liked the idea of dosing once a week but I've realized it just takes a minute to dose the tank.

The anacharis is the only plant that isn't getting any algae and is taking over the tank. I sometimes feel I have high silicates in my tap water but I don't really understand much about them & diatoms.
 

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Shaking it in tank water likely won't cause any harm. Thought you might have been
running tap water over/through it direct from the faucet.
I would be interested in seeing this tank pictures. If the light is actually about 8"
from the sub like it sounded like when you mentioned the size of the tank, then
I'd try 6.5 or 7 hrs of light a day for at least a month to see if that helped/w the
algae.
 

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I might try water change every two or three week's at about 25 to 35 %
Plant's can adapt to low CO2 such as in non injected tanks, but with each water change ,the CO2 fluctuates as there is often more in the tap water than found in non injected tank, and algae is much quicker to respond to the fluctuation's than plant's are.
Plant's have to expend more energy to adapt to the fluctuation's than algae.
So long as you don't overstock the tank, or over feed,the once every three week's water change would provide more stable condition's for the plant's in NON CO2 enhanced tank.
I would try this myself in my low tech affairs but I have too many fish and thus too much food that I feel need's removed weekly for the health of my fishes.
I think it is actually hampering my effort's a bit with my plant's, and am going to reduce the stock of fishes I have this weekend,reset a couple tanks, and give the fewer water changes while continuing dosing a try to see if it makes a difference.
You could also consider using a carbon source such as EXCEL by Seachem which would help in NON CO2 injected tank and maybe make the CO2 fluctuation's less of an issue.
I would try this also, but my tank's are too large and the dosing(see daily for effectiveness) would be too expensive.
Your tank would not be too expensive to use this product .
I would NOT stop dosing nutrient's.
My two cent's
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks!

I don't have wood/ rocks as I wan't to fill the tank entirely with plants (hopefully).

Yes I'll post some pics soon of the tank and algae, it's really ugly though. I'm trying to get good pics but my phone's camera is awfull.
I've already reduced the light to 7h so we'll see how that goes. I have very little substrate, maybe the maximum is 1 inch where the cripts are planted.

Alright I'll change 35% of the water every 2-3 weeks depending on how dirty it is. I only have 3 gobies and snails but there is a lot of plant decay and the water turns yellowish after 2 weeks without water change, I don't feed every day but bloodworms are messy I suppose.

Thanks for explaining the CO2 issue, I've read about it but I find it a little confusing. When you top off the water aren't you adding CO2 and causing fluctuation?

I setup the tank mainly because I wanted to practice and see if I could get it in balance + to grow plants to have at hand. It's like practice for a 65gal tank I'll be setting up in the future.

PD: All the plants I have grow much faster than my ludwigia. It grows very slow and I don't know what it needs
 

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Thanks!

I don't have wood/ rocks as I wan't to fill the tank entirely with plants (hopefully).

Yes I'll post some pics soon of the tank and algae, it's really ugly though. I'm trying to get good pics but my phone's camera is awfull.
I've already reduced the light to 7h so we'll see how that goes. I have very little substrate, maybe the maximum is 1 inch where the cripts are planted.

Alright I'll change 35% of the water every 2-3 weeks depending on how dirty it is. I only have 3 gobies and snails but there is a lot of plant decay and the water turns yellowish after 2 weeks without water change, I don't feed every day but bloodworms are messy I suppose.

Thanks for explaining the CO2 issue, I've read about it but I find it a little confusing. When you top off the water aren't you adding CO2 and causing fluctuation?

I setup the tank mainly because I wanted to practice and see if I could get it in balance + to grow plants to have at hand. It's like practice for a 65gal tank I'll be setting up in the future.

PD: All the plants I have grow much faster than my ludwigia. It grows very slow and I don't know what it needs
Top off water if allowed to sit in a bucket for a day,will off gas the CO2 so no real fluctuation with CO2 level's from this water.:wink2:
Would not concern myself with trying to get fast growth so much as healthy ,algae free growth.
All thing's come to those who wait,observe.
That which happen's quickly in the aquarium is often bad IME
 

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Big water changes give algae a head start over plants and keeps resetting the tank. Let the tank find its own feet. Put in lots and lots of floating water sprite (etc) to compete with algae. They can be removed at a later date. Feed blood worms less ...maybe once every 2 weeks. Rather use a good quality fish food everyday. Clean your filter biblically, like once a week without destroying bacteria, and improving water circulation. Clean the bottom of your tank lightly without churning up the bad stuff down there and allowing it to re-enter the equation. Doing a blackout of tank for two days will also help out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here are some pics sorry for the quality I know it's really bad, I'm getting a new phone soon but maybe the pics help until I get it.
The tank is really ugly and the filter doesn't help, I haven't aquascaped it I've just planted where each plant seems to do best.
Also I don't keep the water line that low.
The dwarf hygro is on the front, jungle vals are at the back (they propagate but never reach the top), crypts in the middle and ludwigia in the middle ( it nearly died in another tank and is recovering slowly).
 

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I had nothing but pea soup, change the water and again pea soup in a week or so. The HOB I got is a rotten SOB and will not filter out the algae, so until I get my DIY filter up and running I rigged this up, its working like a dream so far. Plants are starting to grow and sprout new leaves. Keep in mind these are all local pond plants here in SC.

I'm determined to get these growing and flourishing before I invest in plants, CO2 is now off as well
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Allright thank you. I agree I don't want fast growth just healthy lush growth, I'm starting to see that the bottom leaves of the hygro are starting to look healty instead of dying off.

It's definetely not a show tank but it's my first attempt at a planted tank and I'm having fun watching plants grow. Getting to know how it works spending hardly any money on it.

I'd like to improve circulation but if I add a powerhead the poor gobies will be blown around constantly as it's such a small tank. Any suggestions?

Also the gobies only eat bloodworms I've tried everything with them,
 

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Would not worry bout a powerhead or more circulation for the moment.
Can try bit's of earthworm's for the gobies,bit's of meal worm's.
Just don't collect earthworm's from lawn's or area's where pesticides ,weed killer have been used.
Bait shop or Walmart should have earthworm's or red worm's.
don't or shouldn't need to feed gobies more than once every couple day's.
They will be fine with this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you. I will try to find earthworms for them, I feed them like 3-4 times a week in small amounts.

As for the unidentified algae I think it's diatoms also, I think it grows a little different on leaves than it does on the glass.
I was increasing the ferts dose gradually and when I reached 0,4mL I had a little algae bloom, but I'm sure that reducing light and ferts will get rid of it. Also the snails are doing a great job at reducing it.
 
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